In an earlier post I discussed the Character Worksheet I used to keep track of all the characters mentioned in my Any Tomorrow Trilogy. The worksheet simply lists the name and a basic description of each character. This tool is very handy to make sure names aren’t too similar or confusing and to keep track of relationships and other important characteristics of each character. The example I provided for Character Worksheet page is simplified and doesn’t include details that might spoil the reader’s discovery.
The Location Worksheet lists all the geographic locations mentioned in the Any Tomorrow Trilogy. It consists of three columns: Name, Location, and Description. You can see the Name and Location columns on the Location Worksheet page. As with the Character Worksheet, information that might spoil the reader’s discovery (in this case the Description column) isn’t posted.
When I created the Location Worksheet I had to make a number of decisions about just how detailed to be. I wanted a useful tool, but not one that would bog down the process.
Some references are specific, such as “14825 Magnolia Street, Melbourne, FL” from Any Tomorrow: The Calling. Other references are vague because within the story there are many inferred or nonspecific location references. Whether or not to include inferred or nonspecific location references requires a case-by-case decision based on how important the reference is to the story. Here’s an example of what I mean. Take the following sentence from Any Tomorrow: The Calling ―
“In a small village in north-central Iraq, Enrique’s combat team came upon a disheveled group of Iraqi Republican Guard soldiers.”
“In a small village” isn’t specific as a location, and neither is “north-central Iraq”. Iraq is a fairly large place, however, taken in the context of the reference, I thought I might want to include it so, if I needed to, I could easily see how I referenced the location of the action.
On the worksheet, entries that don’t include specific information are listed as NFI ― No further information. NFI means there isn’t a specific name or a specific location. The information that is listed is there because it’s important within the story and I’ve probably provided myself with an explanation in the Description column.
So take a look at the Location Worksheet and if it’s something that might help you with your writing organization, feel free to use this tool. The Location Worksheet, along with the Character Worksheet, a detailed timeline, and vocabulary/syntax worksheets really helped me to stay organized and I hope they’ll help you.
If you have other helpful ideas or just want leave a comment, please do so by clicking the Leave a comment link below this post. Thanks.